Monthly Archives: December 2015

Making the Connection: Lauren Daoust and the Ministry Fund

For Lauren Daoust, social worker at Ministry Door County Medical Center, helping those in need has always come naturally. “When I was in fifth grade, there was a boy in my class who was always picked last for kickball,” she says. “One day, I decided I wanted to be team captain so I could pick him first. That was the best day of my school year.”

Now, in her role working with clinic and hospital patients and residents of Ministry’s Skilled Nursing Facility, Lauren serves a wide variety of people, listening to their needs and connecting them to the help and support they require. On any given day, Lauren will visit with hospital patients to ensure they have support when discharged, be called to the Emergency Room to support a patient, or help a clinic patient create an advanced directive.   “We work closely with other services and community organizations such as Home Health, Meals on Wheels, Lifeline and Ministry’s Memory Clinic,” she says. She also provides support to family members of those who are hospitalized or in the Skilled Nursing Facility. “Caregivers need resources, too,” she adds.

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Lauren is grateful Ministry has so many resources to offer, including the Ministry Fund that provides for immediate needs of patients and their families during times of crisis. “We help families who are struggling with paying rent or utility bills while between jobs, we provide hotel rooms for a family member of someone who is hospitalized if they can’t afford it, we help with emergency dental care, and we help pay for medication for the short-term for individuals who are experiencing tight financial times. We’re really offering a hand up for people,” she says. Since being established in 1999 by MDCMC social worker Katie Graf, the Ministry Fund has gifted more than $445,000 to the community.

Another available resource is the Brighter Day Fund that helps those struggling with mental illness with immediate needs. “We recently had a mom at our birthing center who was struggling with post-partum depression. Counseling really helped, but she couldn’t afford to continue it. The Brighter Day Fund helped her get the counseling she needed so she could care for herself and her baby.”

Lauren enjoys the challenge of her work, and says that helping her clients is like “putting together the pieces of a puzzle.” She uses her ability to be empathetic and non-judgmental. “I think I’ve always been able to see the strengths of others, even if that person is having difficulties,” she says. Lauren is happy to be part of the Ministry team. “Ministry really lives up to its mission to serve all those in need, especially the poor. And that doesn’t just mean financially – we help those who are isolated, or who may have limited emotional resources. Truly, it’s a privilege and an honor to help people in their time of need.”

Ministry Welcomes Ed Wasie as Washington Island Clinic Provider

Starting in January 2016, Edward Wasie, family nurse practitioner, will serve as the full-time provider at Ministry Door County Medical Center’s (MDCMC) Washington Island Clinic. Edward brings his experience in family practice, emergency medicine, cardiac medicine and veteran care to the position. His most recent position was as a Family Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department at the UP Health System – Portage in Hancock, Michigan.

“We are pleased to welcome Edward Wasie as provider at our Washington Island Clinic,” says Dr. James Heise, Medical Director for MDCMC. “He brings a strong background in a variety of fields that will be an asset to the community.”

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Edward received his BS in Nursing and MS in Family Nursing at Northern Michigan University. He is relocating to the island with his wife. They have three children, the youngest of whom will graduate high school this spring. “With our children starting their own lives, it was a perfect time to make a professional change,” says Edward. “I am greatly looking forward to connecting with families on the island and providing care there. There’s such community spirit on the island – it’s like an extended family.”

In addition to his experience providing acute care in the emergency setting, Edward places a strong emphasis on wellness. “Preventative care is so important. If I can help encourage people to exercise and be part of an active lifestyle, that’s half the battle. A medication hasn’t been invented that can compete with everyday wellness.”

Edward enjoys being active himself, especially on the water, having built a sailboat that he uses on Lake Michigan. He is currently building his own kayak, and looks forward to participating in outdoor activities on the island. “I hope I can inspire, and be inspired, by my patients when it comes to outdoor activity. I’m looking forward to all aspects of this new position.”

To make an appointment with Edward Wasie, call the MDCMC Washington Island Clinic at 920.847.2424.

Judy Wegehaupt: Taking a Team Approach

Judy Wegehaupt is a physical therapist at Ministry’s Sister Bay Rehab Clinic, and provides care for residents of Scandia/Good Samaritan retirement community.

What is your role?

I work closely with patients at the Skilled Nursing Facility at Scandia to provide intensive therapy after surgery or an injury. Our goal is to get them back home, and we take a team approach. I also work with Scandia staff to give their residents the best techniques for mobility – getting in and out of bed, for example.

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Tell us about your work with Parkinson’s patients.

I’m certified in the Big and Loud program, an intensive program for patients with Parkinson’s. It requires a big commitment from the patient – four days a week for at least one month. When we’ve worked with patients in the early to intermediate states of the disease, we have had really good results.

What does it feel like to impact a patient’s life?

It’s a great feeling. I had a patient who was so debilitated with a joint issue, at first she couldn’t even stand. We worked with her for months, and never gave up. She got better! She moved more and more each day, and it was just amazing.

What’s it like working in the Northern Door community?

Northern Door has an older population, and it’s fulfilling to be able to help people stay independent. We’re really ministering to the needs of the community. It’s great to be able to help people enjoy their retirement years, and do the things they want to do. I like it so much, that I moved my dad here. Really, it’s all about the people.

Holiday Meals for All: DCMC Helps Feed Local Families

For nearly 20 years, the staff of Door County Medical Center (DCMC) have helped provide Thanksgiving dinners to local families in need. This year, hospital employees sponsored 112 turkey dinners with all the trimmings, an all-time record. The effort is a partnership between DCMC, Feed and Clothe My People, Econo Foods and the Boys and Girls Club of Door County.

Starting in October, employees in each hospital department pool their contributions and pledge to sponsor a certain number of meals. “We always try to exceed the previous year’s count,” says Brenda Leist, DCMC employee and a member of the Mission and Values Team that coordinates of the effort. Once the final meal tally is determined, the food is purchased through Econo Foods. “We couldn’t provide as many meals as we do if it weren’t for the generous pricing Econo offers us,” she adds. Kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Door County participate by packing the dry goods with the help of DCMC volunteers who work alongside them. Finally, the perishables and dry goods are delivered to local food pantry Feed and Clothe My People and distributed to families.

MDCMC Volunteers work alongside Boys and Girls Club members to pack meal boxes

MDCMC Volunteers work alongside Boys and Girls Club members to pack meal boxes

“There are a number of local families who simply would not have had a Thanksgiving meal this year, had it not been for the efforts of Door County Medical Center,” says Stella Huff, director of Feed and Clothe My People. “As a small pantry, we just couldn’t do it on our own, and we are grateful for their effort each year.”

For DCMC employees who work to organize the event and encourage their colleagues to give, the reward is simple. “We are each in the world to support one another, and we’re lucky to be part of an organization that gives us the chance to do that,” says Leist. “At the end of the day, it feels good to know we have helped put holiday meals on the table for families in our own community.”

DCMC employees also donate to a hat and mitten tree to benefit local children in need of warm winter clothing. Community members can contribute to the tree, which is located in the waiting room of the North Shore Medical Clinic in Sturgeon Bay.